Low standards encourage lackluster romance in college

Spending even 10 minutes on a college campus is enough time to hear at least one girl complain about the fact that “college guys suck.” It isn’t unusual to hear grievances about the supposed modern death of romance. While to some degree, slacking suitors are responsible for low standards of romance on college campuses, they can’t shoulder all the blame.

Recently, an article popped up on my Facebook newsfeed titled “56 Things College Students Think Are Romantic, But Absolutely Aren’t.” Underwhelming gestures like liking a profile picture or making out while drunk at a party makes us beg the question: is Jane Austen rolling in her grave? There’s no doubt that college turns everyone into simple creatures who appreciate whatever free meals, T-shirts and booze they can get. But just because we adapt to a lower standard of living doesn’t mean we should settle for mediocre romantic gestures – or, worse – romanticize everyday actions. In no world is a text before midnight, a drunk call or a mass Snapchat ever (and I repeat, ever) going to be considered remotely romantic.
In my years of romantic experience at the U, I have never ended up with a guy (for any amount of time) who has not asked me out on a date. My own friends constantly complain about not once being asked out on a proper date and always ask for my “secret” to attracting the “romantic ones.”
There is no secret. I just know my standards of romance and only pursue people who have the same standards.
It’s time for all of us to stand up for the dinners, shows, cute gestures and morning-after breakfasts we know we deserve. Now, will the person you have a crush on plan and execute a scavenger hunt around campus that ends in an offer to go to dinner? Probably not as the first date. Will your crush even ask you to dinner? Maybe not initially.
But if your love interest doesn’t at least ask you to hang out platonically to appreciate your personality rather than your anatomy, then you’re probably not crushing on the right person for you. On that same note, if you ask someone to go to Starbucks for a cup of coffee in the afternoon and he or she doesn’t answer until 11:30 p.m., claiming to have “missed the text” but remaining very interested in your current whereabouts, you should probably redirect your attention elsewhere.
By no means am I saying that’s an easy process. Still, it’s our job to recognize that if we spend more time fantasizing about the romantic things someone could do for us than the time they spend planning them out, we need to either drop ‘em or communicate what we feel we deserve.
Let me make a disclaimer: this is aimed for all those out there who want the romantic gestures or an emotional connection. For those who don’t see the need of dating and are all for the spontaneous, no-strings-attached encounters, all the more power to you. I’m really only trying to reach the other hundreds of friends who I’ve heard repeat time and time again that romance is hopeless on campus.
To all of you, if you go along with the pathetic code of conduct that college students view as acceptable (or worse, romantic), nothing will discourage them from keeping up their behavior, because it’s working. Just because you’re simple doesn’t mean you should settle.
Nayna Shah is a junior majoring in biology. 
Featured image courtesy Pixabay user AdinaVoicu

October 21, 2015


Nayna Shah

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